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How tall should vertical support be?

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How tall should vertical support be?

Post  whompy on 4/13/2013, 1:08 am

I'm making my first SFG, and want to try vertical gardening to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar baby watermelons, and squash. I was planning on using a cattle panel from tractor supply for the support, but I noticed that it's only 50 inches high. Is that too short? Will my vertical support need to be at least 5 or 6 feet high? What do you all recommend? Thanks!

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  floyd1440 on 4/13/2013, 8:06 am

I built mine about 6 foot high and my toms went over the trellis so I would go with at least 7 or maybe 8 foot. What kind of melons are you going to grow on your trellis?

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  GaRedClay on 4/13/2013, 8:18 am

That would depend on what varieties you are planting, Yes, some tomatoes are indeterminate and others are determinate meaning some keep growing till frost other produce a crop and thats it. Some cukes and squash can grow up a tree, so check their vining characteristics.
Maybe some one here can recommend short vining varieties. I have lots of planting space so I don't plant the space savers types.

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  NightMist on 4/13/2013, 10:18 am

50 inches is definitely too short for most varieties of the plants you are planning.
It would be workable for most 'matos, they will happily go up one side and then sort of tumble down the other. That might be a little inconvenient for you, depending on where you place your beds and how close together.

Even bush varieties of squash and cukes are going to be too big for fifty inch panels. They will probably do the up and over thing, but they are less tidy about it and may grab onto each other, nearby plants, or themselves during the climb down. Hence the common pyramid or box design when building trellises for them, gives them something to hang onto so they do not strangle or impede each other.

I have been told repeatedly that Sugar Babies are not optimal for trellising. Why people feel a need to tell me that when what I usually grow are Cream of Saskatchewan or Sugar Lump is beyond me. Trellising melons does require attention, but they are just fine with going up instead of all over every which a way. You always need more width than you think too. IME they are not vigorous grabbers, so they will probably be fine with the up and over, provided that you invest in pantyhose and tie them for support. I generally use the hose for melon hammocks too. Sugar Babies are supposed to only grow to six feet, but I have never yet met a melon that paid attention to it's description.

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  Lindacol on 4/13/2013, 11:37 am

One my bed in my avatar, which is 2 blocks high, I use the 52" cattle panels and it works fine for me. I have had toms, beans & cucumbers on the trellises and it works for me. They do require pruning and do cascade over. But I do not want to have to climb to work on them - getting too old for that.

By 2 of my tabletops I have a makeshift 6' high trellis. The plants vine up and down (to the ground) that one.

Think of how you are going to be able to prune and harvest the plants when deciding how tall you want your trellises.

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  Lindacol on 4/13/2013, 2:12 pm

I need to clarify - the 52" cattle panel sits on top of the blocks so the top of it is 6' off the ground. It is supported by T posts. I'm thinking I might raise it a few inches off the blocks on taller T posts. Nothing is climbing it right now so I could do it.

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  R&R 1011 on 4/13/2013, 7:19 pm

How about arching your cattle panel? There are some great pics on this forum and the web.

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/14/2013, 11:32 am

My vertical supports are 5' tall. When things get taller than that I just gently bend them over & start weaving them back down.


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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/14/2013, 11:41 am

Lol, you guy's are smarter using shorter trellis's and just making things grow back down. Mine are 9-10 foot tall and I just keep letting things go till I've got to break out the ladder...somethings wrong with that picture! Razz thinking

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Re: How tall should vertical support be?

Post  camprn on 4/14/2013, 11:44 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:Lol, you guy's are smarter using shorter trellis's and just making things grow back down. Mine are 9-10 foot tall and I just keep letting things go till I've got to break out the ladder...somethings wrong with that picture! Razz thinking
LOL, yup, I have the same trouble. I am cutting down my 10' trellis to 7' this year.

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